SPORTS: Port Angeles wins two boys swimming district crowns; Sequim sends divers to state

RENTON — An already impressive season for the Port Angeles boys swim team got even better Saturday.

Charlie Parks and Austin Fahrenholtz each won district titles, vaulting the Roughriders to a fourth-place finish at the Class 2A West Central District swimming and diving championships at Hazen High School.

With a group of 15 representing the Riders at district, five finished in the top four of an event to qualify for the 2A state championship meet next week in Federal Way.

That included qualifying marks in one relay team and four individual events.

“It was exciting,” said Port Angeles coach Rich Butler, whose Riders were Olympic League champions this winter. “The boys swam lights out today, the second day at finals.

“That was across the board, which was absolutely fantastic to watch. Sometimes it’s a struggle to swim that second day and they really stepped up.”

At the head of the pack was Parks, who put up state qualifying finishes in two events.

He won the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2 minutes, 13.79 seconds; almost four-tenths of a second faster than the next closest finisher.

Parks’ fourth-place finish in the 100 breaststroke in 1:09.46 was just the cherry on top since he had already put up a state-qualifying time in that event earlier in the season.

“I would think he’s got a fantastic chance to be in the top eight [at state in the IM],” Butler said

Fahrenholtz had a big day as well, breaking the meet record in the 1-meter diving event with a score of 402.05 points.

The junior nearly doubled the old record (234.05) on the way to claiming a district title and reaching state for the second straight year.

He was the 3A runner-up last winter to Highline’s Troy Neklason.

Also, qualifying for state individually was Tyler Burke, who was fourth in the 100 backstroke final in 57.65 seconds.

The 400 freestyle relay team of Avery Koehler, C.J. Urnes, Parks and Burke punched its ticket to state with a fourth-place finish of its own in 3:38.00.

They will have to place in the top eight in the state preliminaries in order to reach the finals next weekend at the King County Aquatic Center.

“It will definitely be tight to get back on the second day,” Butler said.

A number of other Riders came close but didn’t quite qualify for state individually.

Among them were Sam Beasley (seventh in diving), Urnes (sixth in 200 free, seventh in 500 free), Koehler (seventh in 200 IM) and Matt Watkins (seventh in 100 breast). Burke was also eighth in the 50 free.

Finishing ahead of Port Angeles (132 points) at the meet was Interlake (270), Lindbergh (200) and Sumner (148).

Sequim sends two

Two divers earned state berths for the Wolves at the same meet Saturday.

A few Sequim individual swimmers and a couple of relay teams finished just short, but may pick up wild-card berths this week.

Earning outright state berths were divers Ezra Perkins and Connor Christianson, who finished in third and fourth, respectively, at the district meet.

Coming close but just missing state berths in diving were Austin Clement in sixth and Cameron Harrison in ninth.

“We hope Austin and Cameron will be wild-carded into state,” coach Linda Moats said.

Noe Calderon placed sixth in the 100 breast and could be wild-carded to state, Moats said.

The 200 medley relay team finished eighth while the 200 freestyle relay claimed seventh and the 400 free relay took 10th.

“We hope one or more of the relays and Noe in the breaststroke will be wild-carded into state,” Moats said. “If not, we are very proud of all of the athletes that represented Sequim in swimming and diving this season. It was great fun.”

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